A New Paradigm for PR
It is safe to say that in the last 48 months all of us in the classical music industry have experienced an earthquake of change in the traditional, tried-and-true models of doing business. As we watch these models crumble, we scan musicalamerica.com, artsjournal.com, and other sites for reassurance, enlightenment and inspiration, hoping to learn from the successes and failures of others. At this point, we can say one thing with assurance: the classical music world is not changing. It has changed.
This Web-based upheaval represents a delicious populist revolt undreamed of in even the 1960s. While it brings a welcome and liberating new world of cultural access, it also leaves big grown-up issues like intellectual property rights and the just remuneration of artists still largely unresolved. Another perhaps less anticipated by-product of this sea change is the ever-growing and peculiar notion that there is no such thing as expertise.
From my perspective, at a certain point it became obvious that the paradigm for disseminating information had to change. The Web is the information retrieval system of choice, and the Web has an insatiable appetite for video footage. So while I have continued to pursue my established PR business, I have created a separate new division called videocontentnow™ (VCN). VCN creates videos designed to be used by artists, their record companies, management team, and presenters to tell the artists' story and promote their performances. These are not simply performance videos, which many of us have used for years, as we have used audio clips on our Web sites. These are electronic press kits (EPKs), which have been used sparingly for promotional purposes in the past, but with tight restrictions.
Here's my suggestion to one and all: Let's work together to create high-quality footage that shows all parties to their best advantage, and post it without restriction to everyone's Web site. It's no longer possible to prevent video footage from being posted on the Web, so we might as well face that fact and collaborate to create a product worthy of our artists. Audiences believe in the romance of the DIY ethos, but they will always prefer the finish and craftsmanship offered by professionals. It's our responsibility to provide it.
Trends / Musical America Directory 2011